Wednesday, November 16, 2011

dissociative disorder and depersonalization

Every once in a while something smacks me in the face that I've unconsciously realized for some time, but never really made its way to the surface. I will realize things well after an event has occurred and most people would assume that I would clearly realize what had happened, but I do not. I also have an uncanny ability to self-analyze. I think that is why I can do so well without seeing a shrink. I don't deny I need therapy, but I also know that I manage to scrape by well enough by being able to pick myself apart and see why I think and act a certain way. I've realized this is a mixed blessing. Its good that I can recognize what's "wrong" with me, but what isn't good is WHY I'm able to do it so clearly. I have some form of dissociative disorder. In other words, I can be unimaginably emotionally detached, often for long periods of time, I don't feel any emotion. Generally its when I'm undergoing a stress. I don't even feel the stress, but I know I should feel stress. Given the fact that when I took a test to determine my stress level, my number was so high my professor said I should be having a mental breakdown and yet I felt completely normal should have been some sort of clue. I've been through a lot of traumatic events in my life, but I can talk about all of it calmly and unemotionally. It surprises doctors because they expect me to show some sort of emotion over it. I can look them in the eyes and say how much and often and how I've been abused and describe it all as if it happened to someone else. It isn't exactly the reaction medical doctors expect. I'm sure a therapist would be able to tell right off the bat what was wrong with me. I know it isn't a normal state. I know I should feel something, but when emotion starts to surface, I cram it back down and away. Its an automatic reflex and I don't pay it any mind. I shut thoughts out of my mind. If I didn't, I would probably be in a mental hospital. I don't know how I would be able to function without my coping mechanism. I detach. When I've gone through really terrible times, I feel as if I'm on auto-pilot. I go through the motions of every day with little or no genuine emotion. Rarely it will break through and my defenses are lowered briefly. I succumb. I cry gut-wrenching sobs so terrible I can barely breathe to let out another sob. I feel as if I will break from sadness and despair-as if my body isn't able to contain my feelings. But then it passes as swiftly as it came. My detachment comes back so that I can survive. I wish I could say that I thought I had gone through experiences worse than anyone else. That would make me feel justified in my emotions, but when I'm detached from myself the way I am, I can rationalize. I can know that there are people who have been through so much worse than I have and who still manage to get through. Sometimes I feel wrong because I know people have been through worse. It seems silly to be upset over what others would see as trivial compared to their experiences. I don't think I'm ready to deal with a lot of the anger I would feel if I actually tuned in to my emotions full-time, so I suppose its a good thing I just cope...

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